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Tucker backs colts Bremar and James to shine

Mr Cup Match: Janeiro Tucker celebrates with Somerset supporters, as he signed off with a century against St George’s at Somerset Cricket Club in 2016. Tucker is confident of his team retaining the trophy(Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Janeiro Tucker is backing Somerset colts Steven Bremar and Kwasi James to the rise to the big occasion at Cup Match.

The pair are the only changes made by the champions and virtually picked themselves after producing solid displays with the bat and ball during the final trial last weekend.

Bremar, a middle-order batsman, hit 61, while all-rounder James made life difficult for the batsmen, varying his line and length and claiming one for 42 from 13 overs.

“I think the colts deserve to be playing,” said Tucker, the former Somerset captain and the most prolific batsman in Cup Match, who serves as assistant coach and selector for the champions.

“Steven has had an exceptional year with a couple of hundreds. Going into the final trial we looked at it and felt if he did well then he has a chance of playing. He went out there and batted well.

“He put his head down and didn’t play any rash shots, and looked like he is a Cup Match player already — he got the nod and it’s good for him to play Cup Match.

“I thought that Kwasi bowled pretty well on Saturday, with a little variation on a flat track that made the batsmen uncomfortable and got his reward.”

Somerset were forced to make at least two changes as all-rounder Kamau Leverock is playing in England while slow left-arm bowler Derrick Brangman is serving a one-year suspension from the Bermuda Cricket Board.

Tucker believes that Bremar and James’s experience gained at the international level bodes well for Cup Match.

“Both of them have been involved with the Bermuda team and so they have experience playing at a higher level,” he said. “I think they will be all right.

“I think Somerset’s team is pretty good and we will keep the cup. It’s balanced with the additions of the new guys and then you have seasoned players like Jekon Edness and Steven Outerbridge.”

Tucker is enjoying his new role at Somerset, which allows him to pass on his knowledge.

“I know what it takes to score runs and take wickets and it has been interesting working with the players,” he said.

“Being around cricket and involved with Somerset for so long, I know the ins and outs, and things have worked out smoothly for me.”